Railroad photography: Learn from a master

Posted by Brian Schmidt
on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

There's an element of dedication required to master any craft. Trains Magazine columnist Brian Solomon's dedication shows with his daily railroad photography blog, Tracking the Light. Yes, that means every day. For those inclined to learn, Brian takes the time to talk about the choices that he made to record these images. For those looking for lots of great railroad photos, and maybe a lunchtime diversion each day, the site offers that, too.

Solomon launched the blog in 2012, and made it daily in early 2013. He says it has accrued more than 2,250 posts in that timeframe, an impressive feat for a photographer in any field.

The blog isn't his only creative outlet, though. Solomon has more than 60 books to his credit, many of which feature his photography. He also has dozens of published feature articles, including two in the July 2018 issue of Trains. Regular readers may also remember his recurring photography column in the magazine, "Adventures in Railroad Photography," co-authored with Mel Patrick, that ran in the late 1990s. The teaching spirit of that column is very much alive in Tracking the Light today.

Solomon says there are many challenges in producing the daily blog. Among them, revealing the real techniques that will help readers make better photos, keeping the readers interested in railroad photography, and simply making sure to have a post each and every day.

On the horizon for summer are a review of his archival images, to see how they've held up (photographically) through the years; discussions on photographing in summer and scanning techniques; continuing his 20-year Irish retrospective focusing on Irish Rail’s 201 class General Motors-built diesels; and previews of his new book, Brian Solomon's Railway Guide to Europe, available now from Kalmbach Books.

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